Growing Up

Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Trust And Obey"1 (Lyrics)

In the late 1990s, I fulfilled my dream of attending Oxford University in England. For two weeks as a continuing education student, I went to Christ Church College, stayed in the dormitory, dined in the historic dining hall, and studied the English Civil War and the Arts and Crafts movement. I met amazing fellow students from across the world, learned so much, and visited as many Oxford colleges, gardens, and shops as I could. On entering the Oxford University Press bookstore, my eyes were greeted by high book cases with more books than I could ever read in a lifetime!

A wise lady in my church reminded me that I can't spend my whole life reading, but I revere higher learning, which made my stay in Oxford so memorable. Reading and absorbing the wise counsel of those who have gone before leads to personal and spiritual growth, and there is much in Scripture about our growth in faith.

1 John 2:12-14 – I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one. (NKJV)

The apostle John spoke of spiritual growth, starting with new belief, which grows and then matures. God the Father wants us to grow spiritually. It's a lifetime journey for us: being patient in the process, growing in faith through our daily walk with Him and learning what is important to Him. We need the Lord in every stage of growth, and we fall flat if we try to go it alone. He knows us personally and forgives us. Being in that close personal relationship is the ground of faith. When we are tempted to try life by ourselves, His Word gives us strength to resist, knowing that by Jesus' victory over death, the evil one has been defeated. Mature believers know that God is forever, that He loves us forever, and that He wants to lift us up to greater things.

I wrote a poem about our life of growth in His wisdom and love.

The heavens and earth abound in Your love,
Showered down on Your sons and fathers, daughters and mothers.
Your presence surrounds us, we witness Your grace through all generations.
You spread Your fellowship and love freely to all Your children.
Alleluia! I praise Your holy name,
From the beginning to the end of the age, praise God, amen and amen.

God gives us the opportunity to grow. Have you taken the time to grow spiritually, and to be open to Him to change and mature you? Do you comprehend God's eternal love? Take the time to pray and be in His Word, and hear His voice today.

Prayer: Enable us, Father God, to grow in grace and wisdom, as You desire. You gave us Your Son Jesus to make that saving relationship possible. Alleluia! Amen.

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About the author:

Shirley Moulton <>
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Beautiful neighbour.

    Thank you, Shirley, for this challenge. And what an amazing experience to study at Oxford!

    Thank you for writing today, Shirley. Oxford must have been a dream come true!

    Thank you for this beautiful message – growth as we walk with the Lord sometimes stumbling but moving forward with Faith.

    Thank you for this beautiful piece. Quite a wake-up call. Growing in Jesus is so important since I believe if you are not moving forward in your spiritual journey your life can grow stagnant. Amen to your wisdom.

    Thank you, Shirley, for another of your special writings including a very meaningful little poem. Yes, it is important that we “grow” in the Lord’s word and learn the full meaning of His word as we delve into it.
    Blessings for these encouraging devotionals you prepare.

    Shirley, Your poem is a treasure of praise expressed in a few choice words.
    Just this morning I was thinking about the assumption I sometimes hear: I don’t need all those scholars and their works. My own experience is enough. That got me thinking about the hundreds of scholarly people over the centuries who, through their sacrifice and love for God’s promises, have made it possible for us to have a readable reliable Bible in our hands! Then I read your timely devotional. Your poem includes them all!

    Good morning, Shirley,
    Last night we began Bible Study again since we had stopped for the pandemic restrictions and had not begun again. We were reading about passages to do with healing because one of us was interested in this. The message was having faith and increasing our faith by being in God’s word and knowing God by knowing Jesus better. Your devotional emphasized the studying we did last evening. God works that way in my life so often.
    Thank you for sharing some of your faith journey and how your dream of attending Oxford was fulfilled. A very encouraging devotional for all. Blessings.

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us today.

    Dear Shirley,
    Thank you for your lovely devotional today. Much appreciated.


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